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“Excellent river and lake tour”

Reviewed 8 May 2017 via mobile

We were taken to the Gamboa Tarpon Club where we picked up the Eco Tour. We split into 2 boats and headed from the river into the Gatun Lakes. The guide was excellent, he knew the full history of the Panama Canal and what went on to create the artificial lake and so on. The focus of the tour was wildlife and we pretty much saw everything that was there; birds, caymans, monkeys and iguanas. It was a really well spent couple of hours. We hooked up with the tour having come off a cruise ship in Panama City but I am sure there are many other ways to see access this tour, really worthwhile.

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank Duquesadiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 March 2017 via mobile

My daughter and I did the overnight stay. It was even better after the day crowd left. Fantastic meal. Free sundowner drinks on the roof. A great night cruise.

In the morning while capt Carl went to pick up the new day guests we had a chance to go out on our own with one of Carl's other guides to do more explorations. Saw so many monkeys and beautiful birds. My daughter kayaked while I went fishing.

Again capt Carl is a unique guy but how could he not be in his line of work. Again a fabulous experience.

Date of experience: March 2017
1  Thank Peteydogohio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2017

An exhilarating 30-minute boat ride at high speed on which our excursion from our cruise ship, took us to the heart of the Panama Canal.
With a small, covered boat we went through the labyrinth of jungle-covered islands of Lake Gatún. Wildlife was plentiful, we were lucky to encounter capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, various kinds of bird life as well as caimans, and, turtles and numerous butterflies. We had an excellent trained naturalist guide that gave us good explantion of all of the wildlife available and together with the boat driver, good eyes to spot almost hidden wildlife.

Date of experience: March 2017
1  Thank Jeroen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2017 via mobile

We were on a Carribean celebrity cruise and signed up through celebrity cruise shore excursions for the "Colon (cristobal) monkey watch" excursion for our panama port visit.

We paid $99 each and the trip was from 10 AM and arrived back at 3:00.

The tour was through Aventura 2000 and pie tour guide was Alexis

We were fortunate because the weather was perfect. It wasn't raining and the temperature was around 80. No bugs!

We boarded a large tour bus which took 1-1/4 hours to get to the wildlife preserve. Our tour guide was Alexis Anderson who was  VERY knowledgeable and shared some great information on Panama, the History and the people.

Once we arrived at Gamboa , we had access to Clean restrooms and got into small apx 20 passenger canopy boats. Celebrity cruise had advertised "high speed" boats - which isn't what they were -- they went the perfect speed to enjoy the surroundings.

As we traveled through the channel we passed 3 large ships passing through - pretty amazing sight! We also stopped to watch the Panama Canal train pass through.

We veered off the main canal to little tributaries to look for monkeys - and we saw monkeys. We saw groups of howler monkeys "roaring" at us. Lots of babies in the groups. Saw three different types of monkeys. We pulled in a close to the trees at times and the monkey actually jumped onto the canopy of the next boat over to get food (I would recommend bringing some food to feed them to lure them closer in just in case your tour guide didn't bring any). 

A little bit disappointed that we didn't see too much other wildlife but that's not the tours fault.

After our boat ride, we returned to the bus and they had box lunches for us along with Cold water. I wasn't expecting that! 

On the return back to the port, Alexis went from seat to seat asking if there was any recommendations of changes, how we liked the tour and if we had any more questions. He was AMAZING - his interpersonal and people skills were beyond what I have experienced on other tours. He shared some safety tips with us before we got off the bus.

There was no walking on this tour. We went straight from bus to boat and then back onto bus. 

Only one recommendation - Would have been nice to have paper to hand out or share that showed where we were on a map.

A+ tour! A+ tour guide!

Date of experience: February 2017
3  Thank TootleLou2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 October 2016 via mobile

We booked this tour thru Celebrity Cruise Line as part of our Panama Canal cruise. We were picked up promptly by an air conditioned motor coach at the pier in Colon and driven through town during rush hour to a Melia hotel where we were able to use the restrooms before walking past their beautiful swimming pool to the dock where an open air boat awaited us. We were expecting to go out into the larger area of the lake that is the main thoroughfare for the ships passing thru the canal. Instead we hugged the coast of a small area as sloth, monkeys, and birds were pointed out to us. After about an hour it was off the boat, another bathroom break then boarding the bus again to go the the Gatun Locks. A brief drive and we were driving over one of the new locks for the Panamax ships while viewing a ship in its first lock. Quite impressive. The bus continued on to the visitors center at the Gatun Locks. There is no elevator here. The elevation is steep, the steps are plentiful, and the weather is miserably hot and humid at this time of year. It was worth it to have a birds eye view of the eastbound locks as ships wait for the water to fall so they can pass to the next lock then out to the Atlantic Ocean. We were fortunate to see a ship in both sides with more waiting. The tour guide and the visitor center guide were very knowledgeable.

Date of experience: October 2016
1  Thank Kathi E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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